It is easy to forget that social media is still relatively new and, of course, it’s changing at a dramatic rate.
In some ways that makes it difficult to predict how things will look in 12 weeks’ time, never mind 12 months. All the same, it’s important that businesses keep an eye on the latest developments, if only to try and identify which sites are on the rise and what new tools are at their disposal.
In our final blog of the year we take a look at some of the elements of social media which might just be making headlines in 2015.
- The Facebook killer? There’s a lot of debate about whether Mark Zuckerberg’s all-conquering creation may at last have a credible rival. Announced earlier this year, Ello is currently at the testing phase and has generated a lot of publicity with its promise not to carry adverts or sell on its users’ details. However criticism about its simplistic design is a useful reminder that it can be difficult for new social media sites to get a foothold; despite early hype, Google+ has not had the impact that many predicted.
- LinkedIn looms large: This year LinkedIn launched a publishing platform for the first time, which was seen by many as a big step forward for the professional networking site. Now companies had another way to demonstrate their expertise. In March, the number of users in the UK passed the 15million milestone and it’s expected that membership will continue to soar in 2015.
- Image-sharing sites: Up until now, many companies have perhaps overlooked the likes of Instagram and Pinterest. Great for sharing photos of a nice pub lunch, but were they really of use to businesses? It is true that the sites offer less obvious benefits than some of their rivals, but the fact is that Instagram alone now boasts more than 200million users. Companies have to admit that there’s a great opportunity there to connect with their clients.
- Paid for ads: One of the initial attractions of sites such as Facebook and Twitter was that they provided a free platform for businesses to publicise their services. Increasingly however, promoted posts and paid-for adverts are becoming an important tool for companies who are looking to gain an extra advantage. There is understandably caution about rising costs, but exploring your options might just be the way to stand out from competitors with their own accounts.